Articles by Xyroh

Articles by Xyroh – an Indie mobile app and software developer based in the North East UK

Android Apps on Windows?

From:

Microsoft is bringing Android apps to Windows 11 with Amazon’s Appstore – The Verge:

Microsoft says it’s using Amazon’s Appstore to bring Android apps to Windows 11. Apps will be listed in the new Windows store, and can be pinned to the taskbar or snapped alongside traditional Windows apps. Microsoft is also partnering with Intel to use its Intel Bridge technology to make this a reality, although the Android apps will still work with both AMD and Arm-based systems.

So, Android Apps on Windows?, not via the Google Play store  though – would have been interested on being a fly on the wall assuming those conversations happened! We’re short of details, but this is an exciting play. Microsoft already has a development route to market for Android using it’s own plaforms (Xamarin allows code (almost) once development in C# using Visual Studio to develop cross platform mobile apps) so it makes sense to tie themselves further into Android having abandoned their own Windows Mobile platform.

Using the Amazon Store however is not an assumed simple move for existing Android apps, certainly there’s some hoops to jump through to migrate to Amazon and losing Google Play Services could mean platform changes of functionality losses.

I’m off now to research the Intel Bridge technology that they are using, news is a little thin but this quote from Engadget offers some suggestions;

Intel says Bridge is a runtime post-compiler that allows applications that were originally designed for a variety of different hardware platforms to run natively on x86 devices. The company points out the technology is part of its ongoing XPU strategy, which means it won’t be merely limited to bringing Android apps to Windows 11.

Probably not quite enough to get me to jump to Windows 11, not now that I’m all in on Apple Silicon! But If you’d like to know more about cross platform apps, mobile or otherwise, and how they could benefit your business then I’d love to hear from you.

About me

Andy Flisher is a Mobile App Developer based in the North East of England with over 20 years software development experience. He is available for hire and specialises in cross platform mobile app development, web applications, desktop software, bespoke cloud architecture solutions and providing outsourced project management services.

Just because you can write once, and deploy to many – doesn’t mean you should

From: Flutter is no longer a cross-platform framework — it is something more. | by Luke Urban:

One of the main things pointed out during this year’s Flutter Engage was the ability to build your app to one of six platforms: iOS, Android, Mac, Windows, Linux and web. That’s awesome news! But…

I massively agree with this article, just because you can write once, and deploy to many – doesn’t mean you should.

I approach this from a Xamarin / Xamarin Forms perspective, I haven’t dabbled in Flutter as it doesn’t solve a problem for me, but the same rings true. An app written using Xamarin Frameworks (C# / .Net) can be run and deployed on the Mac (Arm and Intel), Windows, Linux, iOS (Including Watches and Apple TV’s), Android, the Web, Tizen and probably a few more I’m forgetting – it absolutley doesn’t mean you should.

Platform users have different expectations, be it UI, layout, actions and responses (eg swipe to delete from a list in iOS vs press and hold in Android), different platforms have different input mechanisms (touch vs mouse), output standards (Watch screen vs 65″ TV Panel) all change how you the developer need to consider the app, the presentation, the user experience – it’s just not possible for one code base to achieve all of the above, without work from you.

For example, with Xamarin I can make a decision to use Xamarin Native (specific iOS and Android projects, seperate code and UI bases but maybe some shared underlying central code – eg data layers, low level stuff) or Xamarin Forms (Single code base, single UI base). The latter allows me to override, or do platform specific customisations, but at what point do all those exceptions become less efficient than developing seperately. Good development decisions need to be made, and that comes from experience and working with your client.

Still, the premise runs true, just because you can write once, and deploy to many – doesn’t mean you should.

About me

Andy Flisher is a Mobile App Developer based in the North East of England with over 20 years software development experience. He is available for hire and specialises in cross platform mobile app development, web applications, desktop software, bespoke cloud architecture solutions and providing outsourced project management services.

File -> New -> Project -> Swiss Ball App?

New client project time, swiss balls, apps, iPhone / android and a Teesside collaboration to boot, watch this space 🤷‍♂️

Microsoft is retiring Internet Explorer 🥳

From

Microsoft is finally retiring Internet Explorer in 2022 – The Verge:

Microsoft is finally retiring Internet Explorer next year, after more than 25 years. The aging web browser has largely been unused by most consumers for years, but Microsoft is putting the final nail in the Internet Explorer coffin on June 15th, 2022, by retiring it in favor of Microsoft Edge.

It is completely unnatural how happy this makes me, especially you IE 6, so much pain, so many differences, and so many corporate environments hanging on to it for dear life for reasons I do not understand.

You will not be missed!

Apple previews powerful software updates designed for people with disabilities

From:

Apple previews powerful software updates designed for people with disabilities – Apple:

Later this year, with software updates across all of Apple’s operating systems, people with limb differences will be able to navigate Apple Watch using AssistiveTouch; iPad will support third-party eye-tracking hardware for easier control; and for blind and low vision communities, Apple’s industry-leading VoiceOver screen reader will get even smarter using on-device intelligence to explore objects within images. In support of neurodiversity, Apple is introducing new background sounds to help minimize distractions, and for those who are deaf or hard of hearing, Made for iPhone (MFi) will soon support new bi-directional hearing aids.

Some of these are incredible technical achievements for a mainstream, publically accessible device – previously only available in expensive or unavailable dedicated products.

In a more geeky train of thought, if this level of announcement doesn’t fit for WWDC next month then can’t wait to see what’s lined up.

Version 1.2 of our ‘Worst’ URL Shortener released

Version 1.2 of our ‘Worst’ URL Shortener is now available, the highlight is the ability to store a full history of links you have shortened and re-share them at any time.

Available on iOS and Android but beta programs are available for iOS, Mac and Windows

[1.2.0 – March 2021]

Added

  • Improved Release Notes page
  • Added History Page
  • Toast Style notification when copying to clipboard

Changed

  • Improved main page, and iOS share sheet device size handling
  • Improved Support Page layout
  • Moved Config to static class

Fixed

  • Fixed Message build error on Android
  • Fixed theme so consistent in darkmode
  • Bug fixes

The ‘Worst’ URL Shortener is a quick, fast link shortening app allowing you to choose from a variety of url shortening services, and convert that long, cumbersome URL into something short and far easier to communicate

Download on the App Store

Edited 17/03/21 to reflect iOS version now available

Version 1.8 of our ‘Worst’ Server Monitor released

Version 1.8 of our ‘Worst’ Server Monitor is now available, this is mostly a maintenance update, shifts a few bugs, some UI improvements and allows you to submit your ideas direct from the app.  The full release notes are below;

[1.8 – 24/02/2021]

Added

  • Added Feature Request / Support Ticket

Changed

  • Upgraded XyrohLib and added Breadcrumbs for better support assistance
  • Changed FAQ Link
  • Changed Android Target API to 29

Fixed

  • Fixed some minor UI / Layout issues
  • Fixed dark mode issue for iOS
  • Couple of bug fixes
  • Fixed Android auncher icon issue
  • Fixed Soft Keyboard input / view issue on smaller screen

The ‘Worst’ Server Monitor is a client for a variety of Website Monitoring and Server Uptime services, currently available for iOS and  Android, it’s purpose is simple, a quick and fast way of accessing your monitored sites and servers and seeing their status.

Download on the App Store

Software bugs reportedly keep Arizona inmates jailed past release dates

From: Software bugs reportedly keep Arizona inmates jailed past release dates | Ars Technica:

A failure to update critical prison management software has kept hundreds of incarcerated people in Arizona behind bars longer than they should be, according to a whistleblower report.

Hmm, how could that be? ….

…. neither inmates nor their families should contact anyone to request an eligibility review. “This is done automatically based on system programming, which generates a list… “

… ah, what could possibly go wrong.

That’s some high pressure programming responsibilty right there.

“We knew from day one this wasn’t going to work,” a source in the Department of Corrections told KJZZ. “When they approved that bill, we looked at it and said ‘Oh, shit.'”

And some hindsight for good mearure too!

Facebook Australia: Tech giant faces growing criticism over news ban – BBC News

Updated 20/02/2021 it’s Tim Burners-Lee quote

From: Facebook Australia: Tech giant faces growing criticism over news ban:

The law will force tech giants to pay for news content on their platforms.
Facebook says the legislation “fundamentally misunderstands” its relationship with publishers.
But politicians, publishers and rights groups in several countries have accused it of bullying, and raised concerns over access to information.
Under Facebook’s new rules, Australian users are blocked from viewing and sharing local and international news, while local publishers are restricted from sharing or posting any links on their pages.

It’s not very often I side with Facebook, but unless someone can better explain this to me, certainly as a believer of a free and open Internet (warts and all), how is it fair that Facebook are expected to pay if Australian ‘me’ shares a link on it’s platform?

Australian authorities say they drew up the legislation to “level the playing field” on profits between the tech giants and struggling publishers. Of every A$100 (£56; $77) spent on digital advertising in Australian media these days, A$81 goes to Google and Facebook.

This is admirable, but surely the publishers opportunity to generate revenue is from visitors, Facebook generates those visitors, Facebook is good for their business no? Taxing them like this just seems like greed (or underlines publisher’s not moving quickly enough with the times to change their revenue model).

Or am I missing a massive part of this?

From Tim Burners-Lee:

Specifically, I am concerned that that code risks breaching a fundamental principle of the web by requiring payment for linking between certain content online,” Berners-Lee told a Senate committee scrutinizing a bill that would create the New Media Bargaining Code.

If the code is deployed globally, it could “make the web unworkable around the world”, he said.

Agree, and better put than me, they’re breaking how the Internet works

Apple Watch study on early COVID-19 detection graduates to peer-reviewed status – 9to5Mac

From: Apple Watch study on early COVID-19 detection graduates to peer-reviewed status:

A new study from Mount Sinai researchers published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Medical Internet Research found that wearable hardware, and specifically the Apple Watch, can effectively predict a positive COVID-19 diagnosis up to a week before current PCR-based nasal swab tests.

I’m by no means an expert on the science, but I love the fact that consumer tech, afforable to many, has the prospect to have such benefits, not just for COVID but for the other similar challenges that are sure to follow